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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring, brilliant piece of work on the Saviour
Jose A. Pagola, a Roman Catholic priest is a learned man, who has also a long pastoral experience in the very difficult Basque setting. A place crossed by nationalist conflict (Basque nationalism, but also forms of Spanish intransigence), terrorist nationalist violence, eclesial dissent and a rapidly changing world. Remeber that Franco died in 1975, a dire economic crisis...
Published on 6 Feb 2012 by RAMON

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3 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars safe journey
It was with a sense of relief as well as excitement when my order arrived yesterday - 19th September. It seemed to have been ordered a long time ago, but my enthusiasm to read this book will have contributed to my impatience. It is the first book I have ordered from the U.S., thus my sense of relief. The condition of the purchased book is perfect, due to the excellent...
Published on 20 Sep 2011 by gerard


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring, brilliant piece of work on the Saviour, 6 Feb 2012
By 
RAMON (Santander, SPAIN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jesus: An Historical Approximation (Paperback)
Jose A. Pagola, a Roman Catholic priest is a learned man, who has also a long pastoral experience in the very difficult Basque setting. A place crossed by nationalist conflict (Basque nationalism, but also forms of Spanish intransigence), terrorist nationalist violence, eclesial dissent and a rapidly changing world. Remeber that Franco died in 1975, a dire economic crisis worked havoc in society, ETA killed about 800 people.

In the middle of it all, Pagola has sustained an outstanding literary production both of learned (as this book) and more practical, pastoral matters. He has also been part of the privy council of the Bishop of San Sebastian, the very polemical JM Setien.

This book is an outstanding intent to understand the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the man who was also God, the man who was "equal to us in all, but in sin". The man who "walked the world doing good". Who resurected.

Pagola brings us back 2000 years, to the Palestine where Jesus lived and walked, to his culture, his traditions, the politics, the economics. Based on that research and information, Jesus - person shines in another light, more human, more divine. All those layers of senseless tradition, of actually dressing Him in other clothes are taken away. After reading his comment on the "Our Father", that prayer is said in a more sincere, authentic way; women are given their true place in revelation, the miracles are ripped of their magical connotations and seen in a more powerful, faith based light... As the Church, as christians.

This is a very readable book, but written with passion and learning. Pagola doesn't pretend to make things softer, or more complicated. As a matter of fact, through this work one can understand the insistence of the Church Fathers on the true human nature of Jesus, against other more sublime, literate schools of thought, who in the end belittle Jesus' work, life, love and sacrifice. The last chapter of the book is called "Looking for names for the Resurrected", and tries to renew the experience of the early Church and of the disciples in today's life and today's church.

This book has not been gladly received by the Spanish bishops, intellectually nearer of the Inquisition than of Enlightment. The initial permit given by the bishop for printing the book as a Roman Catholic book has been retired, something that had never been seen before. Pagola is suffering now an internal strangement in his own Church. This should encourage you to read this, because the book is extremely pious.

There are only two MINOR drawbacks:
- Pagola doesn't mention the case of Jesus' love and sexual life. I don't particularly mind about it, because the Gospel writers considered them uninteresting, but much of the sexual doctrine of the Church is based on Jesus' celibacy, and that has had dramatic consequences when applied to the sexual life of christians. Pagola simply accepts the fact that Jesus had no wife, nor children, that's that. I think that this time he tried to avoid conflict with the "upper ranks".

- There are some minor editinig problems with the book. It has been translated from Spanish into English, and translation sometimes incoherent. Then this kind of book can't have a very large budget.

All in all, a very moving book for christians and non christians alike. Jesus came to shock people with goodness, 'to gather all the lost ewes of the flock", and the book achieves that. A good buy, a god read, and a good prayer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astounding, 3 Mar 2013
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Brenda Peddigrew (Haliburton County, ON) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jesus: An Historical Approximation (Paperback)
For the first time I felt I understoood the actual historical context in which Jesus was born, lived and died. But more than a biography, the spirit of the times and what moved him and in that context how radical he actually was, especially in his mystical comprehension of the world, stood out like a blazing bonfire. After studying, praying and encountering Jesus all my life, this writing gave me new and blazing experience of knowing him differently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Jesus, 14 May 2013
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C. J. FOX "Charles Fox" (Northampton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jesus: An Historical Approximation (Paperback)
This is a book which brings Jesus to light and gives many insights into his life as a carpenter / builder in Galilee at the beginning of the 1st century. For instance the prevailing attitudes towards women, the poor, the Romans and the relationship between Galilee and Jerusalem. The description of the crucifixion is historical and harrowing. The author is a Spanish scholar and Catholic priest who backs up his statements with references - the footnotes are essential. The translation (? by an American) does not grate to English ears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus the Man, 2 April 2013
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This is an absorbing read. It lends itself to meditative refelction on each few pages as the author takes the reader through the various phases of the life and work of Jesus. There is a wealth of historical detail presented in a reader friendly manner. The author does not intrude, but allows the reader to deduce her/his own conclusions. For example, he points out that Jesus did not quote the Torah, but rather encouraged his listeners to be like the father, compassionate. He does not try to draw a lesson from this, but leaves us to respond accroding to our understanding. There are footnotes aplenty for the scholar to peruse, but the ordinary reader doens not need to try to absorb the information imparted there. It is a most enjoyable read, ideal for the Lenten and Holy Week season which has just passed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 24 Mar 2013
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So very readable and accessible without too much head work.
Really enjoying it and hope many others get as much pleasure from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read, 7 Dec 2012
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I had been recommended it by a friend and have discovered that it is as good as he said it was. A refreshingly honest view of Jesus, stripped of the accretion of pious sentiment. All that is really important about Jesus is there, and that which is not is given very short attention. For any serious believer or student of the Bible, especially the New Testament, this is a helpful step forward.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid picture of the life, times and enduring relevance of Jesus of Nazareth, 21 April 2014
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This book is so good that I keep giving this book away to friends, so this is the third time I have bought it! It is superb - lucid, erudite, griping and thoroughly absorbing. I came away feeling I know and understand Jesus much better than I ever did before - and I now see the true radicality of his life and mission in four dimensions. It is at once comforting and deeply unsettling. Probably the most life-changing book about Jesus - other than the gospels themselves - you are ever likely to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 8 Feb 2014
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This is the most amazing book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested to find out more about Jesus, living in his time and in his surroundings with what was going on then. It has opened my eyes to how he was, and explained to me his own faith and his perception of the Kingdom of God. Definitely 5 star!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jesus: An Historical Approximation, 5 Nov 2013
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I liked this a lot. Serious reading and had to do it in stages. I needed to take thinking time between chapters or sections but it was worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy delightful read, 30 Oct 2013
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An excellant interpretation of the life and times of Jesus when he came to be part of this messy world of ours. Brings his thinking into the everyday. As well as all that Jose Pagola is a wonderful writer and the translation must be first class
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Jesus: An Historical Approximation
Jesus: An Historical Approximation by Jose Antonio Pagola (Paperback - 1 July 2009)
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